Today was full of plaid.  In fact, it was a sea of plaid.  Why?  Because today was the Parade of Tartans and Highlands Games at Alafia River Rendezvous.

The dictionary defines “highlander,” as “a native of the Highlands of Scotland.”  Rendezvous defines “highlander” as anyone who is willing to wear plaid.  The Highlands Parade is a chance for grown men to get together and wear skirts and feel good about themselves while doing so.

My daddy has always joked that our family is Scotch-Irish, mainly Scotch, because there is an alcoholic tendency in our history.  I’m pretty sure the same can be said of the people wearing kilts today.  They were mainly made up of Scotch, or more accurately, mead.  So, today was all about Scotland.

The old men wore kilts.

The middle aged men wore kilts.

The little boys wore kilts.  
There were kilts everywhere.

I must admit that I missed the parade and games this morning.  Sitting on my warm sofa in my pajamas was much more appealing to me than standing in a field wearing old clothes.  However, I got there in time to see the plaid.  They all wore it.  It was everywhere.  There will be plaid in my sleep tonight.  I don’t regret missing the parade, because the leftovers were still there.

Besides, I’ve seen the games before.  Once you’ve seen grown men wearing skirts and trying to throw big, heavy poles, you never forget it.  I can’t imagine it changes that much from year to year.

And, now for the hooters…..

The hooters are the bathrooms.  That’s what they are called.  Why?  I have absolutely no idea.  I’ve never asked.  I’m not sure I want to hear the answer.  However, it is not uncommon at all to hear someone at Rendezvous say, “I need to go to the hooter.”  Strange but true.

For a week to two weeks, depending on the level of dedication, these people live in a field wearing old clothes, and they use port-a-johns.  Picture the lady’s dress from yesterday’s photo, or better yet, go look at it.  Now, imagine trying to use a nasty, stinky port-a-john wearing all those layers.  The mission is to keep your skirt out of the hole.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  You have to be careful, though, because there is no shower if you mess up.  Ewwww…..

Some of the really prepared people have their own restroom and shower facilities.  When I first heard that, I though, “Oh, that wouldn’t be so bad!  I could camp here if I had my own bathroom and shower!”  Then, I put some thought into it.  The shower would be great, and I know there are ways to heat the water using propane or solar power.  The bathroom, however, doesn’t sound so great.  In theory, it does.  In reality, I know that I am usually the one who ends up cleaning the bathroom at home.  How would I like to have to clean a portable bathroom in the middle of a field while wearing old clothes?  No thank you.  I’ve told you before that I don’t handle bodily fluids well.  I don’t think I’m up for that job.  Come to think of it, though, Mr. Everything is good at everything.  How do you think he would be at cleaning a chamber pot?  I bet he could do it!  Something to think about…  -Al



01/25/2017 9:43am

This was a largely informative and educational post, enabling to change people's view of highlanders and hooters! I will be very honest and I held just the usual views about them, like most people do but not anymore. You wrote very effectively and am delighted to have read this amazing piece, cheers!


Leave a Reply